Ridgefield Loses Beloved Coach

It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Dusty Anchors, head softball coach, after a lengthy battle with heart disease.  He was 68 years old.

Coach Anchors was instrumental in reviving the softball program at Ridgefield High School, where he coached for three years starting in 2016.  The team thrived under his leadership, advancing to state competition in 2016-17.  Last year, it placed fifth in the state with a 21-5 record.  This year, the team is currently ranked second in their league with a 16-4 record.

Even through his illness, Anchors continued his coaching duties and remained steadfastly dedicated to the team.  His zest for life and infectious enthusiasm for the game will live on in the hearts of the entire Ridgefield community.  He will be sorely missed.

“Today is a difficult day here in Ridgefield with the passing of Coach Anchors.  Dusty was truly a remarkable man who coached with passion, integrity and a deep love for the game,” said Brynan Shipley, the district’s athletic director.  “We will honor his legacy and continue to carry on the culture that he built here.  Our thoughts are with his family and the Ridgefield softball community.”

Counselors are on hand at Ridgefield High School to help students and staff through the grieving process.

Stellar Year for Ridgefield High School Golf Team

In a year with many successes, the Ridgefield High School golf team had a standout year.  They won the 2A League individual day golf tournament.  They won the Hudson Invitational and the Titan Cup, where they competed with 3A and 4A schools.  In October, they won the 2A District IV Golf Championship.  And with the team’s remarkable performance at District, the entire varsity team—all six members—qualified to go to state competition in May.

The RHS Golf Team lifts the District Championship trophy. Photo credit: Bob Ball Photography.

With a field of 80 players at District competition, three of the RHS golfers were in the top five players, and all six students made the top 15.  Cade Bringhurst placed second, Kellen Bringhurst placed fourth, and Kale Suomi placed fifth.  Caden Whitsitt placed ninth, Nick Radosevich placed 11th, and Eli Saenz placed 14th.

In an interview with the Reflector, Kellen Bringhurst said, “Definitely the fact we could send all six to state was huge for us.  Our main goal—we’ve said it from the beginning—is for this year was that we wanted to win state as a team.”

“We’ve got a lot of good players on this team, and only two of them are seniors, Kale (Suomi) and I.  So for the next three or four years, our team has a lot of great potential and talent.  I want to leave a little bit of a legacy for them to follow.  A state title would be sweet to leave behind.”

Topping off the League honors, sophomore Cade Bringhurst won Player of the Year.  This is his second year as Player of the Year.  And Coach Bob Ball won District Coach of the Year.  “That’s thanks to Cade and the rest of them,” Ball said.  “You don’t win that without players doing well.”

Coach Ball is proud of the students and what they have achieved.  He pointed out that last year, the same set of students won the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association 2A boys’ golf academic championship, with a 3.9 collective GPA for the team.  “They’re good, smart kids.  Good students,” Ball said.  He expects them to do well both academically and athletically again this year.

Three of the six students are playing other sports right now, so practice time is limited before the state tournament.  But Coach Ball said they will be preparing by working on fundamentals.  They’ll also be learning about the course where they’ll be playing, Liberty Lake Golf Course just outside of Spokane, and learning about the strategy it takes to play it.

The whole Ridgefield High School golf team will be going to state competition on May 21st and 22nd.  If you see the team members or Coach Ball, please congratulate them and wish them luck at state.

Kellen Bringhurst competes at the 2A GSHL golf tournament.  Photo credit:  Bob Ball Photography.

 

Caden Whitsitt competes at the 2A GHSL golf tournament.  Photo credit:  Bob Ball Photography.

 

Ridgefield School District Honors May Employee and Students of the Month

On May 14, Ridgefield School District officials recognized the May Employee and Students of the Month at the regular Board of Directors meeting.

The staff and students at Union Ridge Elementary are proud to recognize Carla Bonebrake as the Employee of the Month for May.  Carla started work at Union Ridge Elementary School in 2005 as a classified substitute and was hired as a permanent employee para-professional three years later.  In March 2013, Carla began work as a health room para-professional.

Carla Bonebrake

Carla is calm, knowledgeable, and decisive in high stress situations, which suits her well in not only providing expert care for our students but also in making available important health information and training to parents and to the school community.  The students and staff of Union Ridge adore Carla.  Her positive and happy personality puts everyone at ease.  In addition to Carla’s outstanding work at Union Ridge, she also provides support to the Cispus Outdoor Program.  She eagerly shares her time and talents to this school event every year.  Carla’s passion and vibrant personality has helped to make this event a favorite and memorable experience for fifth grade students.  Carla was also active with the school’s PTO during the years her own children attend Union Ridge Elementary.

 

Students of the Month

Elsie Swenson, a fourth grader, is May’s Student of the Month at South Ridge Elementary School.  The South Ridge Elementary School teachers and staff are very proud of Elsie.  They write, “Elsie is an amazing girl and an awesome role model and leader.  She is a quick learner and is always willing and eager to help those that struggle academically.  She is kind to everyone and goes out of her way to include those students that are sometimes left out.  Elsie rises to every challenge and always gives 100%.  She also challenges herself to do better or write more.  She is always a shining example of being Respectful, Responsible, and Resilient all the time!”

Elsie Swenson

Yumiko Werner, a kindergartner, was selected at Union Ridge Elementary.  Union Ridge teachers and staff are very proud of Yumiko.  They write, “Yumiko is an amazing student and a wonderful friend to others.  She is always striving to do her best on her work in class and out.  Yumiko is a kind, caring, and helpful friend in her class.  At the end of the day, she helps others and myself clean up the room and makes sure everything is where it belongs.  Yumiko always has an upbeat spirit and a smile for all that greet her.  She also plays football and wrestles!  I look forward to watching Yumiko grow and do amazing things here at Union Ridge Elementary and outside of school.”

Yumiko Werner

Quentin Ross, a fifth grader, is May’s Student of the Month at Sunset Ridge Intermediate School.  The Sunset Ridge Intermediate School teachers and staff are very proud of Quentin.  They write, “Quentin consistently represents the three R’s.  His Respectful nature contributes positively to our classroom and school environment.  Quentin is an excellent model of Responsibility and Resilience, which he demonstrates by completing work assignments and tasks thoroughly and to the best of his ability every single time.  He is forever thoughtful and a wonderful friend, student and member of the Sunset Ridge Intermediate School community.”

Quentin Ross

Alexander Fry, a seventh grader, was chosen at View Ridge Middle School.  The View Ridge Middle School teachers and staff are very proud of Alexander.  They write, “Alex is a delight to teach!  He is progressing well in learning a second language, Spanish.  He has the ability to work with all partners and has a positive attitude.”

Alexander Fry

Braxton Boer, a sophomore, has been chosen as the May Student of the Month for Ridgefield High School.  The students and staff are very proud of Braxton.  They write, “Choosing one student out of the 900 students at RHS for Student of the Month proved to be a difficult task.  After reading the 22 nominations submitted by staff and getting further input from the staff on those nominees, one student rose to the top.  RHS is pleased to announce that Braxton Boer was selected.  Teachers describe Braxton as “always positive”; “striving to make himself better”; “a student I look forward to seeing every day“; and “a shining example of a student who demonstrates the three R’s – Respect, Responsibility, Resilience.”  Balancing medical issues and school has proven to be a challenge for Braxton, including weekly physical therapy sessions and past surgeries.  Never using those challenges as an excuse, Braxton is involved with Knowledge Bowl and robotics, is in advanced math and science classes, is enrolled in an AP class AND maintains a perfect 4.0 GPA.  Ridgefield High School congratulates Braxton Boer on this well-deserved recognition.”

Braxton Boer

Ridgefield School District is grateful to its sponsors, James Schmeling of Allstate Insurance Company whose local office is providing funding to support the district’s recognition program during this school year and the Ridgefield Public Schools Foundation.

Ridgefield School District Schedules Patron Tour on May 29th

Ridgefield School District is scheduling a Patron Tour on Wednesday, May 29th from 8:30 am to 11:30 am.  Bus transportation to the schools will be provided.

District and school administrators will lead participants on a tour of Ridgefield High School’s Vocational Education Building and the site of current construction of the RHS Expansion project.  The tour will also include a visit to the property on which the district hopes to build a proposed new K-4 elementary school.

Patron Tour participants will meet at the Ridgefield Administrative & Civic Center (RACC), 510 Pioneer Street in Ridgefield.  Check-in starts at 8:15 am, and a continental breakfast will be provided before the tour.

To register, please send an email to communications@ridgefieldsd.org and provide the name and email address of each attendee.

Proposed Curriculum Materials Available for Public Review

The public is invited to review the following curriculum materials being considered for adoption by the Ridgefield School District:

  • AP Human Geography for Grades 9-12: The Cultural Landscape:  An Introduction to Human Geography published by Pearson
  • AP Government for Grade 12: AMSCO Advanced Placement:  United States Government & Politics published by Perfection Learning

The curriculum materials will be at the District Office in the Ridgefield Administrative & Civic Center (RACC), 510 Pioneer Street in Ridgefield, Washington, through May 24th from 8:00 am – 4:00 pm, Monday-Friday.  Please ask for Dani Taylor.

 

South Ridge Sport-A-Thon: Catch Us If You Can!

Action was everywhere at the South Ridge Elementary Sport-A-Thon.  Footballs flew into targets, students crawled and jumped through the obstacle course, and inflatable “boards” were broken with Taekwondo.  It was perfect weather to be playing outdoors—and the day was also an impressive fundraiser for South Ridge Elementary.

The Sport-A-Thon fundraiser started last year.  Event chairperson Kelli Bushnell explained, “I came up with the Sport-A-Thon as a fundraiser to replace the auction, which was adults only.  We wanted something fun the kids could participate in.”

East Ridgefield Crossfit set up a fun obstacle course.

 

Practicing home runs at the baseball inflatable.

Students collected flat fee donations prior to the event.  Each class worked together as a team, competing for prizes that included popcorn parties, free recess, a sundae party with the principal, Amazon gift cards, and a pizza party.

The team competition made for a very successful fundraiser.  “Our goal this year was $10,000,” Bushnell said.  “We don’t have final numbers yet, but we will be over $10,000.”  Bushnell worked with committee members Jen Dawson, Tina Krause, Alisha Lasch, Melissa Nove and other volunteers to raise money for school activities throughout the year.

Out in the spring sunshine, the kids didn’t know how much work went into planning the event; they were having a great time walking, running, and playing together.  The huge inflatables were busy, with students waiting their turn for basketball, baseball, and football challenges.  And a DJ kept the music going, with some kids dancing on the sidelines.

South Ridge second grader Callum Wilson was participating for his second year in the Sport-A-Thon.  He went through the obstacle course once—then went through the obstacle course again.  He had a huge smile, his face flushed from running and jumping.  “I like the obstacle course and the football game,” he said.  “It’s so fun!”  He took a short break to catch his breath, then headed back across the wide field to join the other kids.

Students compete with a two-sided football pass inflatable.

 

Staff from HS Taekwondo strike a pose.

Union Ridge Elementary Organizes Sixth Annual World Celebrations Parade

Union Ridge Elementary School students will be participating in the school’s annual World Celebrations Parade on Thursday, May 30th from 10:00-10:30 am in downtown Ridgefield.

The parade, now in its sixth year, is a tradition at the school.  In a fun parade setting, it gives the students (in Grades K-4) a chance to show the community the different representations of a variety of cultures they have been studying in class.

In Kindergarten, students will focus on their own unique culture by way of a timeline they will share at the parade.

First graders studied the different cultural elements that make countries unique.  At the parade, each student will share this information based on a country from their family heritage.

Second graders researched a person of historical significance and created a biographical timeline containing interesting facts that they will share at the parade.

Third graders studied the cultural landmarks and geography of five regions of the United States.  Based on their research, they created postcards which they will hand out to spectators along the parade route.

Fourth graders have been studying Washington State and the many wonderful things that represent it.  They selected Washington’s state dance–the square dance—to share at the parade.

Come to downtown Ridgefield on Thursday, May 30th to cheer on our students as they participate in a parade that celebrates the diversity of various world cultures.

Ridgefield Students Receive Top Honors at State High School Art Show

Two Ridgefield High School students were honored for their artwork entries in the 46th Annual Superintendent’s High School Art Show at the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI).  Kylie Brown, a junior, was recognized as one of the State Winners.  Her entry, a ceramic/mixed media piece entitled Lamia’s Pierre, won the Professional Educator Standards Board Award.  Grace Arnold, a freshman, received an Honorable Mention Award for her entry, Final Judgement.

Kylie Brown

Grace Arnold

Both student artwork entries advanced to the state competition after receiving high marks at the 2019 Southwest Washington Regional High School Art show at Educational Service District 112 held in March.  In the recent statewide competition, after several rounds of judging and selections, Brown’s artwork stood out as one of the 15 state award winners, and Arnold’s entry was one of six selected to receive an Honorable Mention award.

All 15 state-winning art pieces will become part of the permanent collection on display at OSPI and various participating partner organization offices in the state.  All of the 2019 Art Show entries, including regional winners, state winners and honorable mention recipients can be viewed online at:  http://www.k12.wa.us/Arts/ArtShow/default.aspx.

A Reception and Awards Ceremony will be held at OSPI on Friday, May 17th to honor all state award recipients.

“Lamia’s Pierre” by Kylie Brown was one of 15 state award winners.

 

“Final Judgement” by Grace Arnold, received Honorable Mention in the state competition.

 

Free Training in Mental Health First Aid

Do you know of anyone who could be experiencing a mental illness or a potential mental health crisis?  Learn how you can help.

A class in Youth Mental Health First Aid Training is being offered on June 11 and 12, 5:00-9:00 pm at Sunset Ridge Intermediate School.  And it’s free.

The class provides eight hours of training and teaches a five-step action plan to help connect individuals experiencing symptoms of mental illness with appropriate professional, social or self-help care.   Registration is now open at http://www.ymhfabg.com/register.

For more information, contact Kristen McIntyre mcintyre.kristen@battlegroundps.org or Tamra Scheetz scheetz.tamra@battlegroundps.org.

Another Response to May 3 Posting on School Impact Fees

The following is a response from Lucy Krantz to the May 3 posting on School Impact Fees:

“When faced with a letter from the City officials and school district officials this week requesting the County require the developers in the Urban Holding area pay the same school impact fee for the Ridgefield School District in unincorporated Clark County as in the City of Ridgefield, Councilor Julie Olson basically said that she does not favor that equality.

At best, she does not commit to supporting developers paying the same impact fee as the City citizens and, at worst she indicates that she is not inclined to support these developers paying an equal share. Tragically, her response to the request for equality minimizes the impact on the Ridgefield School District that would be caused by the addition of the 746 dwelling units in the current proposal (of note, she does not mention the total number of units in the area that would be developed within the RSD).

Although it may be minimal to Councilor Olson, if the County does not require these developers to pay their equal share, the RSD will lose $1.8 million dollars.  The failure to pay that $1.8 million by developers just means that the other citizens of the school district will have to make up that difference in yet another levy or bond.”

(If you remember, the last bond measure did not meet the 60% minimum votes needed to pass. Also, although everyone seems to think developers pay the impact fees, it is really the home buyers who have the fees added to the cost of their new homes.)

“Such a giveaway to these developers on the backs of the citizens of the RSD is simply wrong.”

Ridgefield’s Math Is Cool Team Advances to State Competition

Fifth and sixth grade students filtered slowly into the classroom after school.  They talked about their day and munched on some cookies.  One student turned a stool on its side and sat on its post like an axle, pretending to motor along the floor.  Just kids hanging out.  But these students are going to spend another hour practicing math problems as they prepare for the statewide Math Is Cool competition.

At the Clark County Math Is Cool competition in February, the fifth grade team from Ridgefield was the first place winner, and the sixth grade team was the second place winner.  The top four students from each team qualified to go to state competition.

Sixth graders on the Math Is Cool team prepare for the upcoming state competition.

This year, Sunset Ridge Intermediate School fielded Ridgefield’s largest team to date.  Kelly O’Boyle, coach for the sixth grade team, said they had 24 students on the original team and 30 on the fifth grade team.   O’Boyle is proud of all the students.  “It says something about Ridgefield schools, how many kids want to be a part of our program.  That’s what I love about it.  We don’t say that they have to be in accelerated math.  They join because they like math; they like to compete.”

The Math Is Cool competition is comprised of six sections:

  • Mental Math (individual competition with eight problems, no writing, talking, or answer changes allowed)
  • Individual Test (individual competition with 40 questions)
  • Team Multiple Choice (each team works together on ten problems, with penalties for incorrect answers)
  • Team Test (each team works together on ten problems)
  • Relays (each team takes turns answering two series of four related questions—one wrong answer can render other answers incorrect)
  • College Bowl (each team competes with another team to be first to buzz in with correct answers to ten problems each round)

Each section requires its own strategy.  And the more you practice, the more familiar you are with the format.  Team practices were two and a half hours each in the weeks leading up to countywide competition; now they know what they are facing and practice an hour at a time with a smaller team.  State competitions are in May.

James Stevens, coach for the fifth grade team, explained that several of the students had been to statewide competition before.  One fifth grade student called out his friend for staying up late and drinking Pepsi at last year’s competition.  “But I had a good reason!” he responded.  “I was playing Zelda!”

O’Boyle said “They are looking forward to competing again.  We are really proud of all of them.”  And the students are proud too.  A hand-lettered t-shirt worn by sixth grade team member, Emily Merrill read:  Math Is Cool RULES!

Congratulations to our Math Is Cool students and their coaches.  Best of luck at state!

School Impact Fees

Here is the response from Mayor Don Stose, Scott Gullickson, Chair of the Ridgefield School Board, and Bruce Wiseman, Chair, Ridgefield Post Commission. See May 3 posting if you need more information

School Impact Fees

Response from Scott Gullickson, School Board Member, to the post about the proposed 1000 unit development around 179th Street (see May 3 posting): “School board members and the school district are reaching out to the county commissioners. We have already started dialogue with them regarding these school impact fee issues and the desire to raise them to a level that is on par with the city rates.  We will continue to work on behalf of Ridgefield Schools for an equitable solution.

I also appreciate the letter writing campaign as well. Thank you.”

Scott Gullickson

KWRL School Bus Registration for 2019-20 School Year Opens May 1st

Will your student be needing school bus transportation for school year 2019-2020?  If so, please be sure to register him/her for KWRL school bus transportation using the new KWRL Transportation Portal.  Registration opens on Wednesday, May 1st.

New this year:  Your Skyward Login ID and Skyward Password will be required to access the KWRL Transportation Portal for school bus registration.

If you forgot your Skyward login and/or password, go to the Skyward log-in page at https://www2.swrdc.wa-k12.net/scripts/cgiip.exe/WService=wridgefs71/fwemnu01.w and click on the “Forgot Your Login/Password?” link.  An email with a temporary password and your username will be sent to the email address that is on file.

If you need further assistance with your Skyward login credentials, please contact your school secretary or call Maggie Butler at the District Office at 360-619-1309.

To register your student for 2019-20 school bus transportation, click on the following link to access the KWRL Transportation Portal beginning Wednesday, May 1.

https://sites.google.com/woodlandschools.org/kwrl/kwrl-transportation-portal?authuser=0

2019-2020 school bus information, including route numbers, stop locations and pick up and drop off times will be available on the KWRL website at www.kwrl.org starting August 15, 2019.

Easy Ways to Make a Difference: Ridgefield Family Resource Center

When students and families need assistance, the Ridgefield Family Resource Center is there to help.  Director Christine Poppert explains the organization’s mission. “We are a resource available for all families.  We started so we could make sure kids’ basic needs—food, toiletries, clothing—were being met.  And we have expanded to be able to connect families with other resources, like counseling, to be able to assist them.”

There are many easy ways to help fill the constant, year-round need in our community.

Green Bag Project. The Green Bag project makes it easy to donate food.  They literally bring the bag to your doorstep.  You donate non-perishable food items.  They suggest adding one item a week to your grocery list as a donation.  And they pick the filled bag up from your doorstep every two months.  Bill Baumann manages the Ridgefield project, splitting the food between the food bank at Neighbors Helping Neighbors and the Ridgefield Family Resource Center.  Last month they collected 2100 pounds of food.  To get a green bag, email Bill Baumann at RidgefieldFoodProject@gmail.com or fill out the form at clarkfoodproject.org/donor-signup-form.php

Volunteer. While the Resource Center does need volunteers for projects, like sorting canned goods and clothing, they also encourage people to volunteer using their own skills.  “A Girl Scout troop made ‘birthday bags’ with plates, cups, napkins, and other supplies to help families with the expense of parties,” Poppert said.  “It was very creative, and filled a real need.”  Someone who is a hairdresser might volunteer to do an afternoon of haircuts.  Pet owners might fill bags with food, treats, and toys.  There are many ways to volunteer assistance.

If you prefer onsite volunteering, times can be scheduled for projects for groups or families.  Those volunteers need to complete the district’s simple background check to participate.

Specific Donations. There are a few ongoing needs that are always in high demand.  Donations of these items are always welcome.

  • Quick individual meals (ex. single packs of beef jerky, mac and cheese cups, meal bars)
  • Peanut butter
  • Pasta and pasta sauce
  • Cereal
  • Canned meats (tuna, chicken, etc.)
  • Beans
  • Gift cards (particularly for gas, groceries, and clothing)

Poppert is grateful for the community’s ongoing support.  “We all have months where things are tight—a car accident, an illness,” she said.  “We want to surround people in support at that time.  It’s all confidential.  We can meet with families outside of the hours we are open.  Everyone should know we are here to help, no matter what the situation.”

The Ridgefield Family Resource Center is located in a portable between Union Ridge Elementary and the Ridgefield Administrative & Civic Center (RACC).

 

 

The small food bank at the center provides food for many in the community, including students.